Epson V500

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by kris-bochenek, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. I hope this won't get deleted. I just bought a scanner to scan my 35 and medium format film that I process myself. I got an Epson V500 so far so good. I scanned this batch at 2400 dpi. It took about 5 minutes to scan two 6x6 negatives and the final jpeg is about 4800x4800 pixels. I am very pleased with this model, now I don't have to be sending my negs in for scanning I can do it at home at my own leisure. Reason for this post is so that someone looking for an affordable scanner can consider this one as one of the options. It's small and fits nicely on the desk ( I put my away after I am done scanning). It's fast for my needs. Here are some photos scanned with it. They were shot on Ilford Delta 100 film. I hope that this "review" will be useful to someone looking to buy a new scanner.
  2. Duplicate post - please ignore and delete
  3. I posted a thread about choosing a scanner so thanks for thanks for your post. I'll take a closer look at the Epson V500
  4. Epsons are fine for color, in my experience equalling pro labs, ie., Kodak Q Labs that commercial photographers use.
    The above is Kodak E100G slide film.
    But the issue is the detail. If you shoot Velvia or professional wedding portrait film, whatever, 35mm in terms of detail does not compete with a 6MP dSLR.
    For the color, it's not that hard. I scan it, tidy up the dust marks or just Digital ICE. Then takes me under 30secs to correct the colour, even Velvia or Kodachrome which I read is hard to scan. I don't find it so. You may need to use fill light or lift up the curve. As the shadows in Velvia can block up.
    I have shot film and digital side/side all on tripod etc ... using prime lenses. If you just 8x10 and perhaps not competitions it should suffice.
  5. Kris, I too use a V500 for medium format negs and transparencies. For 35mm I prefer my Scan Dual ll. See the following thread for comparisons: You can also search Gallery>Search by photo tags> V500 for some more samples from PN users. The V500, for the money, is good value in my opinion. Best, LM.
  6. iit is fine and dandy to talk about or suggest ANY
    dedicated film scanner, especially a 35mm scanner.
    but if you have one, take good care of it.
    if you don't, I hope you win the lottery.
    Meanwhile, back on earth, the epson is one of the few remaing options.
    Nikon is shrouded in mystery, one other was sold in the UK.
    and the rest can no longer be repaired.
    it is anagagous to swim suits in February and winter clothes in July.
    here in the USA. Camera and scanner manufacturers
    quite the business before film scanners were really needed.
    Some " me too" manufacturers jumped in.
    but who knows how good they are.
    Give us posters / viewers a break. Do not praise
    a fine dependable film scanner if you cannot buy
    of find one without breaking the law.
    enjoy it's superior functions while you can.
    Honestly at LEAST one of the " me too" companies
    should make a decent scanner.
  7. Sorry, but my experience has be very negative with the Epsons. 2400 dpi for scanning is not worth my time. IMO
    stay a way from Epsons if you want to print larger thatn 8x10, and even that size will take lot of work. For MF, it
    makes MF look like 35 mm so why shoot MF? For web only posting, maybe it is ok, but if you are going to spend that
    amount of time IMO you are better off getting a scan that could be used for printing as well.
  8. Matt, I just got it so I just shared my initial thoughts on it. It is good that we share all even those negative thoughts so that the people looking can weigh both sides and see if the product is right for them. If we all agreed on everything the world would be boring and 18% gray ;-) I will use it for printing 8x10 for my own use as I only shoot with Yashica or Bessa so for me it's no probelm I am happy with the results.
  9. I've been happy with my V500. However, I've found it difficult to get consistently good colors without heavy tweaking, and then sometimes impossible. The other issue, as I've posted many times before, is that to achieve proper contrast, the Epson blows out highlight details. The problem becomes worse when sharpening (generally needed) is applied. It's clearly visible in this photo--notice the model's blond hair is blown out.
  10. If you're going to get a V500 for 120 film, you miight consider the V600. It's basically the same but you can scan (3) 6x7's where the V500 will only scan one at a time. (2 for 6x6).
    Scott: "Model"? She's someone's kid? Yours? What a cutie!
  11. " the Epsons. 2400 dpi for scanning is not worth my"
    ok ok
    dedicated scanners are really BETTER.
    but as my son says they are made of a rare material
    called U N O B T A N U M.
    I really like the expensive Nikon scanner.
    but most likely I or most of the posters her will never own one.
    The dedicated scanner market is past and gone.
    Just like Kodachome and panatomic -x.
    If there is no other marketplace choice, that is what there is.
    we must live with that fact.
    as said before "if you have a dedicated scanner- take good care of it.
    If you don't-- well , I said it before.
  12. Alan,
    Yes, she's mine. And is responsible for a major portion of my film costs.....
    There are currently 3-4 Nikon 8000s available on Ebay. They have gone up in price, of course, but put it this way: $1700 (estimate to get one now) is what many people are now paying for a current Nikon or Canon DSLR crop body, or a 80-200 2.8 lens. Any time I go to the local park I see no end of people showing off their red-encircled lenses. So if one is serious about fine images, and is into medium format, then a scanner of this class is, when put into perspective, not an unreasonable expenditure. Otherwise, you might as well give in, give up, and spend an equivalent amount on the latest digital gear. Obviously though, many can't afford either....
  13. Matt,

    Where do you get 2400 from?

    It's 6400 optical.

    8bit BW 6x6 scan comes in at about 14K x 14K, and 200M of file.
    That's more than enough pixels than I want to push around.

    And I don't understand the negative 35mm comments by various other posters, a MF scan has a 35mm x 24mm
    section in it.
    Why should the size matter for one but not the other?
  14. Rich: That's a good question regarding MF vs. 35mm. If you check my gallery I think you'll see in general that the 35mm positive film block up the shadows more that the medium format positive. Maybe the 120 film works better because the real estate that you're photography stretches out more with 120 format. In essence, the 36mm x 24mm section of the 120 film covers a smaller portion of the range. Certainly its' worth exploring the reason better because I'm just using my best guess.
  15. I suppose.

    The resolution is going to be the same for the same area.

    I've only done about 10 scans so far with mine. Getting or keeping 120 flat seems to be the weakest link. For a $160
    scanner, I'm more than satisfied. I did some 16bit scans. I can see the film grain. And the raw file sizes choke my
    comp with PS and LR. I'll run some 35 through just to see if I can see a difference. If it's flaws are with color
    negatives, so be it; I only need it for BW.

    I'll probably invest in the betterscanning holder. It would be nice if they had a glassless option. Something like a
    regular negative carrier.

    I got it primarily for proofing and web posting BW. It surpasses that, at it's price, and will pay for itself in a week.
  16. Well here are a few samples from the V500 from 120 film.
  17. The resolution is going to be the same for the same area.​
    That's true. However, the same area covers 5x less of the original picture assuming you're taking the same shot with both cameras. I also wonder what effect grain will have for the same reason. Because the image portion is smaller in 120 for the same film real estate size, you have 5 times the amount of grain difference and "choking" the grain might cause with the 35mm. Bottom line is 120 is better and film scanners are better than flat beds. But like you said, scan of 120 are pretty good for the web and I've gotten very nice 8 1/2 x 11" prints out of my V600.
  18. So there maybe is a clue. Printing.

    If you are blowing the 35 up to same size print as the 120, your 8.5x11 for example, you may be seeing differences. I don't know, but I doubt it; without testing, I would assume that a 35 negative scanned at high settings would output rather well to a 300 dpi 8x10 lab print. I would even bet that you could see film grain, long before you see scan lines. I wouldn't bet a lot, but lunch, ya.

    I have no interest in, or need to, printing scanned negatives. I am going to wet print them if they are going to be printed.

    I did not mean that scans of "120 are pretty good for the web" they way that you are replying. The scanned file sizes are huge at full scan. PNet allows 700px by 700px images(which is a nominal web size), and my scans are coming in at 14,000+ per side. They are scanning in at 200 times the data than is needed.

    Bottom line, this is a hobby for me. I am not going to buy a scanner the price of a used car, or a new digital camera to scan film and print it. Scanning them and working on them in PS gives me a good idea of whether or not they are worth the effort, and gives me a good idea of what I need to work on at the enlarger. It's a savings in time, in set up, materials cost, and clean up. If a $160 scanner can mean that my darkroom trash can only fills up half as fast as it normally does, it is a huge savings to me.
  19. Do not believe the Epson claims of optical resolution. 2400 dpi is the community accepted resolution of the Epson line.
    By that I mean many people have tested it and came to the same conclusion. I have not tested it directly, but it
    seems in line with my experience.
  20. Fair enough Matt,
    I have been scanning at 6400 myself. I can see film grain at that setting, at 100% magnification. I don't see any scanning artifacts(scan lines) until I magnify the image to 300%.

    If this is equivalent to 2400 on some $4000 scanner, I will definitely accept that.

    Like I said in a previous post, scanning at 100% at 8 bit 120 BW at 6400 produces image sizes of 14K by 14K, and file sizes of about 200Mb; they choke my comp to a virtual standstill. That is way way more pixels than I want to push around, and I have started downsizing my scans to make my life easier.

    Here is an example...(it's 700x700, I don't know why it's not inline).
  21. The V500 is not going to get anywhere near 6400ppi, nor 3200ppi, nor even 2400ppi. Here is a test of its successor the V600. I think if you could cherry-pick the best example you might find one that could do 1800ppi.
    One good thing about the V600 is that you only have to scan at 3200ppi to get those 1560ppi. Some of the other models require you to scan at 6400ppi to get their best scan. That of course greatly increases your file size to scan at 6400 vs. 3200.
    Only the 700 and the 750 models will reach 2400ppi. Here is a test of the V700.
  22. Fair enough Marc,
    From just skimming that that first page, I would bet you lunch at your favorite restaurant that it is written by a German.
    Anyway, without researching this further, I will assume that there is a diminishing returns value(that our German reviewer does not acknowledge). That is to say, that given any random film negative material that there is only so much grain which can be captured. And even when making the leap from that negative to paper. I don't know what the resolution of Ilford paper is, but I assure you that with my measly little Beseler enlarger, it does not have the resolution of the 6400 scans I have tested with the V500.
    That is to say, that it is scanning in at a higher resolution to digital, than I am able to produce by wet printing. Both limited by the granularity of the film, and the lower resolution of paper(whatever that is).
    Now, our German friend may have access to a Nikon 9000(running $4000 used on eBay), or a 5-25,000 dollar drum scanner(also found used on eBay) for comparison. But I don't have those resources.
    I do have the resources for a $160 scanner, readily bought at Staples, off the shelf. Like I said, I only got into this wet photography thing as a hobby, with a Holga(a $25 camera) I bought a year and half ago. I never expected to make any money off this, certainly not enough to justify a scanner I would have to sell my kidney to buy. For all you professionals(or German perfectionists), go for it, scan away with whatever floats your boat.
  23. And I take back a previous comment, I can see scan lines in this 100% crop.
    Oh, and that artifacting in light, that is from the jpeg conversion. I don't see that on my screen.
  24. It's clearly visible in this photo--notice the model's blond hair is blown out.​
    You change change that clipping by tweaking the histogram adjustment.
  25. I would say my v500 is under 2000ppi but that is not to say that the prints made from 2400ppi scans will be bad. I'm quite happy with the prints I have made from my v500 scans. I would say my traditionally enlarged B&W prints have more details than v500 scans but photoshop is somewhat easier in the sense that you can see what you are doing. Personally I like B&W printing but I don't get to do it as often as I would like to the v500 lets me look at my negs and decide which ones to print and how I would want to print them.

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